The compact shrub Scutellaria is a beautiful flowering shrub belonging to the family of the Labaceae. It is characterized by a fairly rapid development. In nature, its height can reach more than 100 cm. When growing in indoor culture, the bush has a height of no more than 50 cm. Under natural conditions, the shrub is a perennial.
Domestic scutellaria, which is 3 years old, begins to lose its spectacular appearance and needs to be renewed. This is why it is often grown as an annual. In summertime, large umbrella-like inflorescences are formed on the tops of four-sided stems, which include tubular flowers of a rich color. In nature, the shrub can be found everywhere, but it is native to Costa Rica. Only one species, called Costa Rican scutellaria, is cultivated indoors.
Brief description of cultivation
- Temperature. In summer 22 to 25 degrees, in winter 12 to 15 degrees.
- Humidity of air. Elevated. The bush should be moistened regularly from a sprayer.
- Lightness. Bright, diffused light.
- Watering. Make sure no crusts form on the surface of the soil mixture. Water as often as every 1.
5 weeks during the winter.
- Earth/Fertilizer. A universal potting soil for flowers. Substrate can be made up of perlite, sod soil and humus (1:2:2).
Fertilizing is carried out a couple of times a month, using universal mineral fertilizer, with the dosage recommended by the manufacturer to be halved.
- Transplanting. In spring time every 2.5 years.
- Care featuresa. Regularly once every couple of years, a radical pruning of the shrub is carried out. For this purpose, all stems are shortened to 10 centimeters. The room where the plant stands should be ventilated systematically, in the summertime it should be taken out into the garden or onto a balcony if possible.
Home care for scutellaria
If you provide the right growing conditions for the indoor scutellaria, it will develop normally and will give you a long and spectacular bloom.
Since it is a tropical plant, it is thermophilic. For the shrub to develop normally, an optimal temperature regime should be maintained. The plant does well at a temperature of 15-24 degrees. At the same time, during the winter time, make sure that the room is not colder than 12 degrees.
If the room will be colder, the bush may die.
In order to protect the roots from overcooling, on cold days under the container with the plant place a stand of cork or wood, if it stands on the window. In the summertime, it is recommended to choose a place where the temperature will not exceed 25 degrees. If the room is hot, increase the frequency of sprinkling.
This tropical plant reacts negatively to excessively low humidity in the room.
For it to feel comfortable and grow properly, it needs a higher air humidity level. You can do this in various ways.
Often it can be helpful to get rid of excessively low humidity by spraying the shrub with a sprayer. It is necessary to moisten the foliage frequently, and in the hot summer months the procedure is carried out up to several times a day. When the bush is blooming, spraying it is not recommended, as it is not allowed to get water droplets on the flowers.
Even if you spray the scutellaria very carefully, the moisture can still end up on the flowers. During this period, household humidifiers are used, and it is also recommended to put the pot with the flower on a deep tray filled with damp shingles. Also wipe the leaf plates regularly with a moistened cloth.
If this fast-growing plant is placed on a northern window sill, this will cause its shoots to stretch out. As a result there will be smaller leaves, thinning of the stems and no flowering at all.
Western or eastern windowsill is best for the shrub as it needs plenty of bright, diffused light. If the sun outside is blocked by clouds for a long time, then the plant may need backlighting. If you choose a southern window sill, the shade must be provided during the midday hours.
Scutellaria is moisture-loving and therefore needs regular watering when growing in room conditions. The procedure is carried out as soon as the top layer of the soil mixture dries out.
However, do not wait until a hard crust has formed on the substrate.
In summer the plant is watered frequently, approximately once every three days. In winter the plant needs less water, so it is watered more infrequently, about once every 10-12 days. You can moisten the substrate only with well-distilled water, which should be slightly warm. Cover the surface of the root zone with a layer of Sphagnum-Moss to slow down the evaporation.
Pot must be given special attention during transplanting. The correct selection of the pot for planting the scutellaria determines the growth of the root system as well as the duration and effectiveness of the flowering.
The pot should be about 2/3 the height of the plant in cross-section. And its height should not be less than 1/3 the height of the shrub together with the drainage layer and the roots. Make sure you have drainage holes in the bottom of the pot so that you can remove any excess liquid and allow the air to get to the roots.
To make your own potting soil mix, combine sod, sand and humus (2:1:2). If you want a ready-made substrate can be purchased at a specialist store. In this case choose a universal potting soil for flowers, which should be neutral or weakly acidic (pH 5-6).
To increase the looseness of the substrate it is recommended to mix it with chopped sphagnum moss, brick chips or coconut substrate.
Fertilize the scutellaria regularly, with a frequency of 2 times a month.
This will keep it looking very striking and blooming abundantly all the time. It is recommended to use a universal mineral complex, taking ½ of the dosage that is recommended by the manufacturer. Fertilizing is done in the evening together with watering, then the shrub is put away in a shady place for 48 hours.
When growing as an annual the plant is not transplanted. However, repotting a perennial scutellaria once every 2.
5 years when the root system becomes crowded in the pot. When replanting the scutellaria, replace the pot with a larger one, increase the thickness of the layer of drainage, and mix the soil with vermiculite or brick crumbs. During transplanting, the bush is not deepened.
To avoid thinning of the adult stems, they must be cut once every couple of years in the springtime. Also prune the top parts of a few shoots.
This will make the bush look thicker and more beautiful.
But you should not prune all young shoots as this could lead to a lack of blooming. Don't forget to cut off faded inflorescences in time, this will help maintain the shrub's neat appearance.
If you cultivate this shrub as an annual plant, it will flower only once: from the first days of May until midsummer. However, this flowering is so spectacular that you will definitely want to see it again.
For this reason, this plant is often grown as a perennial.
When the scutellaria is in a warm room, its flowering is observed all year round with short intervals. However, the plant requires systematic feeding and watering.
The flower buds of the shrub are only deposited in the upper parts of the stems. This is why pruning must be done very carefully as this has a negative effect on flowering.
Tubular flowers can be orange, deep red or yellow. Inflorescences are cyst shaped, similar in appearance to flame tongues, and consist of 13-15 flowers. The unusually folded corollas have a closed and curved edge so that they have a helmet-like shape. This is why scutellaria is also popularly referred to as hellebores.
The one-year-old shrub does not need a dormancy period.
Fertilization is not stopped during the winter, but the substrate should be moistened once every 1.5 weeks. The air temperature should be the same as in summer.
Cultivating the scutellaria as a perennial, it must be rested from the last days of October to the second half of February. It is put away in a place where it is always cool, the substrate is moistened rarely, and no feeding is done.
Raising scutellaria with cuttings
The cuttings that are left after pruning in the springtime can be used to propagate the indoor scutellaria. Of all the cuttings, choose the most powerful ones, with a minimum length of about 15 cm. Rip off all the lower leaf plates from the cuttings. Treat the cuttings with a product that promotes root growth.
Transplant the cuttings into a moistened substrate and submerge them by about 7 mm.
Cover the cuttings with cling film and put them in a warm place. After the cuttings have formed roots, young leaf plates will grow on them. When this happens, the cover is removed. After 2 weeks, transplant the bushes into separate larger pots.
Mistakes in the care of the indoor scutellaria can cause problems with it:
- Faded foliage.
The plant feels a severe lack of light and nutrients.
- Sparse flowering. Shrub standing in an excessively dark place.
- Drying edge of leaf plates. Humidity levels too low.
Increase the frequency of leaf moistening with a sprayer, place the pot on a deep tray of moist pebbles or place an open vessel filled with water near the plant.
- Pests. Aphids, spider mites, scales and whiteflies most often settle on the shrub. To get rid of them, use suitable insecticidal preparations.
Scutellaria has a spectacular appearance and can decorate any interior.
Since this striking plant is eye-catching, it is not advisable to choose a place to grow it that you would not want to accentuate. The spectacular umbrella-shaped inflorescences lift the mood and give a festive atmosphere.
The best place for this shrub is in the living room. The petals are painted a fiery red hue, with a yellow border on the top. However, this only slightly restrains the flow of vital energy spread by the plant near itself, as the pure bright red color can provoke rash actions.
Schools, offices and kindergartens are often decorated with this ornate plant.